The proposed 2014-15 budget provides no increase in the basic education subsidy line, leaving that allocation at $5.5 billion. Instead, the plan adds $251 million in other new classroom funding, which is still $430 million below 2010-11.
Today’s mid-year budget briefing by Budget Secretary Zogby confirms the warnings issued by the Independent Fiscal Office and the independent ratings agencies about Pennsylvania’s dire financial condition. The Commonwealth can no longer rely on one-time fixes to balance its budget. We need long-term solutions that will restore fiscal stability and allow the Commonwealth to grow.
Enrollment in Pennsylvania’s private and non-public schools remained steady for more than a decade, at around 330,000 students, but began to decline sharply after 2000. Total enrollment in private schools dropped by 32% between 2000-01 and 2013-14.
In 2013-14, Pennsylvania’s public schools enrolled 1,750,059 students in grades Pre-K through 12 across the state’s 500 school districts. Of these students, 92.6% are enrolled in district-run schools and 7.4% attend charter schools.
Conventional wisdom may hold that Gov. Corbett fell short in his reelection bid because voters, and his own party leaders, didn’t much like him.Some pundits will say he didn’t do a good job selling his ideas.The fault lies not in his personality, nor his communications, but in the policies the governor pursued.
On Tuesday Pennsylvanians sent a clear message that education matters to them, and they endorsed a severance tax as a way to pay for it.
The final budget includes $5,526,129,000 in Basic Education funding for 2014-15, which is the same as the 2013-14 appropriation. Funding for Special Education is increased, with funding to be allocated according to a new formula, and the Ready to Learn block grant was established.